How to Make a Kale and Bacon Frittata

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The cool thing about frittatas is once you get the basic technique down, you can make them for any meal and with just about any ingredients. Within reason. Eggs are a must :). But you can go nuts from there: mushrooms, ham, cheeses of all sorts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sausage, bell peppers – think endless possibilities!

Apart from the eggs, you will also need a cast iron skillet. I was intimidated by them for a long time, but they have become one of my favorite kitchen tools. Like my Dutch oven, they can go from stove top to oven to table and are very easy to clean. They also heat very evenly, which will make your job as a cook much easier.

Below is one of my favorite frittata combinations, along with my best advice for any first timers out there. Have I motivated you to try a frittata? Let me know about your attempts in the comments!

Bacon and Kale Frittata

6 eggs
3 strips thick cut bacon
3 large handfuls roughly chopped kale (or substitute leafy green mix or spinach)
1 green onion, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup Feta cheese
Salt
Pepper
1 large tomato, chopped with seeds removed, to garnish

Equipment: 1 cast iron skillet

Prep your eggs first because once you get going, things happen quickly! Crack all six eggs into a large bowl and whisk together thoroughly with salt and pepper. I tend to go lighter on the salt and pepper at this stage, because more can always be added when serving. Obviously, you can’t taste the raw eggs to know when it’s right, and the bacon and feta will add salt to the dish as well, so keep that in mind 🙂 Set the bowl aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now to cook the bacon. It is important to get the skillet to be hot enough before placing the bacon in the pan. Heat it for about 5 minutes over medium heat. One way to test if it’s hot enough is to drop a spoon full of water on it – if it sizzles and turns into steam, you’re good to go. (I read an interview with Bob Flay once – he was asked to pick the number one mistake home cooks make, and he said they don’t wait for their pans to get hot before putting the food in – meat especially will never cook correctly in a lukewarm pan. It’s really good advice!) The bacon should sizzle like the water when it hits the pan. Cook the bacon to your preferred level of done-ness (mine is crisp but not burnt). Remove bacon from pan, set aside. Drain out the fat, reserving 2-3 Tbs in skillet. Swirl the fat around to coat the entire base and sides of skillet; return pan to medium heat.

Add kale and green onions to pan, cook 3-4 minutes, until kale is wilted. It should still be green, but have lost most of its shape. Don’t overcook it or the flavor will turn bitter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Once the wilt is good, spread the kale around evenly in the pan.

Now add the eggs – I find it best to start pouring about an inch from the side of the skillet in a circular motion. Make sure the eggs reach all of the sides of the pan as evenly as possible – pick up with skillet and swirl it a bit to achieve that if needed – just like on those fancy cooking shows! You have to do this fast because the eggs will start to set immediately and once they do, that’s it! Allow the skillet to cook over medium heat until the eggs start to visibly solidify, especially on the sides – another 3-5 minutes. It’s okay if the center is still runny, that’s what the oven is for. While you’re waiting, chop the bacon into crumbled pieces and try not to eat too much of it while doing so 🙂

Sprinkle the feta cheese and crumbled bacon on top of the frittata, then place the skillet in the oven. Let bake until eggs are completely solidified and begin to brown slightly – this is about 5-10 minutes, depending on how long they cooked on the stove top.

Remove from oven, let stand 3 minutes before cutting into 6 equal pieces. Garnish with tomatoes if desired.

 

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